Michel de Montaigne: The complete essays


The essays

Introduction and housekeeping

Book 1

  1. We reach the same end by discrepant means
  2. On sadness
  3. Our emotions get carried away beyond us
  4. How the soul discharges its emotions against false objects when lacking real ones
  5. Whether the governor of a beseiged fortress should go out and parley
  6. The hour of parleying is dangerous
  7. That our deeds are judged by the intention
  8. On idleness
  9. On liars
  10. On a ready or hesitant delivery
  11. On prognostications
  12. On constancy
  13. Ceremonial at the meeting of kings
  14. That the taste of good and evil things depends in large part on the opinion we have of them
  15. One is punished for stubbornly defending a fort without a good reason
  16. On punishing cowardice
  17. The doings of certain ambassadors
  18. On fear
  19. That we should not be deemed happy till after our death
  20. To philosophise is to learn how to die
  21. On the power of the imagination
  22. One man’s profit is another man’s loss
  23. On habit: and on never easily changing a traditional law
  24. Same design: differing outcomes
  25. On schoolmasters’ learning
  26. On educating children
  27. That it is madness to judge the true and false from our own capacities
  28. On affectionate relationsips
  29. Nine-and-twnety sonnets of Estienne de La Boetie
  30. On moderation
  31. On the Cannibals
  32. Judgements on God’s ordinances must be embarked upon with prudence
  33. On fleeing from pleasures at the cost of one’s life
  34. Fortune is often found in Reason’s train
  35. Something lacking in our civil administration
  36. On the custom of wearing clothing
  37. On Cato the younger
  38. How we weep and laugh at the same thing
  39. On solitude
  40. Reflections upon Cicero
  41. On not sharing one’s fame
  42. On the inequality there is between us
  43. On sumptuary laws
  44. On sleep
  45. On the Battle of Dreux
  46. On names
  47. On the uncertainty of our judgement
  48. On war horses
  49. On ancient customs
  50. On Democritus and Heraclitus
  51. On the vanity of words
  52. On the frugality of the Ancients
  53. On one of Caesar’s sayings
  54. On vain cunning devices
  55. On smells
  56. On prayer
  57. On the length of life

Book II

  1. On the inconstancy of our actions
  2. On drunkenness
  3. A custom of the Isle of Cea
  4. ‘Work can wait until tomorrow’
  5. On conscience
  6. On practice
  7. On rewards for honour
  8. On the affection of fathers for their children
  9. On the armour of the Parthians
  10. On books
  11. On cruelty
  12. An apology for Raymond Sebond
  13. On judging someone else’s death
  14. How our mind tangles itself up
  15. That difficulty increases desire
  16. On glory
  17. On presumption
  18. On giving the lie
  19. On freedom of conscience
  20. We can savour nothing pure
  21. Against indolence
  22. On riding ‘in post’
  23. On bad means to a good end
  24. On the greatness of Rome
  25. On not pretending to be ill
  26. On thumbs
  27. On cowardice, the mother of cruelty
  28. There is a season for everything
  29. On virtue
  30. On a monster-child
  31. On anger
  32. In defence of Seneca and Plutarch
  33. The tale of Spurina
  34. Observations on Julius Caesar’s methods of waging war
  35. On three good wives
  36. On the most excellent of men
  37. On the resemblance of children to their fathers

Book III

  1. On the useful and the honourable
  2. On repenting
  3. On three kinds of social intercourse
  4. On diversion
  5. On some lines of Virgil
  6. On coaches
  7. On high rank as a disadvantage
  8. On the art of conversation
  9. On vanity
  10. On restraining your will
  11. On the lame
  12. On physiognomy
  13. On experience